This very amusing, somewhat insightful but vastly overdrawn column on women overlooks a more interesting question than whether women have lost their rational minds. Rather than ponder why women swoon over Barack Obama or why Oprah has a media empire or why men make better drivers, it might be more interesting to ponder why men have fallen prey to the worst aspects of cliché feminism and emotionalized politics.
After all, a wide majority of Democratic men favor Barack Obama and apparently show no concern for the “tea with dictators” and “can’t we all get along” approach to foreign policy that may come with the deal. In some ways Hillary Clinton’s latest gambit has been to argue that Obama is a wimp who’s not man enough to take on the terrorists. She is trying to shake some sense into the fuzzy-headed Democratic electorate. (Granted that some of these male Obama voters, like the SNL skit suggests, may simply be fleeing from “Someone so annoying, so pushy, so grating, so bossy and shrill, with a personality so unpleasant, that at the end of the day [they] will have to go enough! We give up! Life is too short to deal with this awful woman!” ) It was Bill, not Hillary, who seemed to perfect the biting-the-lower lip, empathy-in-lieu of analysis style of politics.
One explanation for this mass wimp out by men is that male politicians, particularly Democrats, have simply learned to play on women’s emotions, adopting an excessively emotionalized style of politics and the language of self-help therapy that permeates feminine culture. Another is that liberal men have bought into the victimhood narrative of the women’s movement and have adopted the language and mindset of the “oppressed” while casting off that of the rational, linear “oppressor” male worldview. Whatever the explanation it seems plain that there are a lot of silly men who sound an awful lot like silly women.
Now, regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, we may be heading for one of the greatest gender gaps in political history. John McCain is perhaps the politician most immune to the feminization of political language. He not only does not feel your pain, he has little patience with it. He’s not going to whisper sweet nothings in your ear; he is going to give the hard truths and tell you to buck up. (Ask the Michigan auto workers, if you have any doubt.) By contrast, if Obama is the Democratic nominee, we are going to hear plenty about inclusion, less about confrontation and more about “dialogue” in both domestic and foreign policy. There is no problem too big for an encounter group. If Hillary is the nominee we will get more of the woe is me/fighting against the mean men complaints sprinkled with a heavy dose of “win one for the sister” identity politics. Let’s hope enough women (and men) haven’t lost their minds entirely as they assess the demands of a real world in which talk, conciliation and tears don’t work magic.